despite

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French despit, from Latin dēspectum (looking down on), from dēspicere (to look down, despise).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

despite (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Disdain, contemptuous feelings, hatred.
  2. (archaic) Action or behaviour displaying such feelings; an outrage, insult.
    • 1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.II, Ch.iiij:
      he asked kynge Arthur yf he wold gyue hym leue to ryde after Balen and to reuenge the despyte that he had done / Doo your best said Arthur I am right wroth said Balen I wold he were quyte of the despyte that he hath done to me and to my Courte
    • Milton
      a despite done against the Most High
  3. Evil feeling; malice, spite.

Preposition[edit]

despite

  1. In spite of, notwithstanding.
    • 1592–1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet III:
      So thou through windows of thine age shall see
      Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
    • 1592–1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet XIX:
      Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
      My love shall in my verse ever live young.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, The China Governess[1]:
      The highway to the East Coast which ran through the borough of Ebbfield had always been a main road and even now, despite the vast garages, the pylons and the gaily painted factory glasshouses which had sprung up beside it, there still remained an occasional trace of past cultures.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

despite (third-person singular simple present despites, present participle despiting, simple past and past participle despited)

  1. (obsolete) To vex; to annoy; to offend contemptuously.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Raleigh to this entry?)

Anagrams[edit]